Cappadocia Singletrack MTB - Cappadocia Singletrack MTB – 8 Days
Cappadocia is Turkey's trail biking paradise — a volcanic landscape offering challenging and rewarding slick rock with lush, green singletracks and unforgettable caves, tunnels and canyons. Welcome to Turkey's most awesome scenery, abounding with intense, technical climbs and adrenaline-fueled descents through rock gardens.
Situated in the center of Turkey's great Anatolian plain, Cappadocia is a legendary land of towering "fairy chimneys", cave dwellings and dormant volcanoes laced together with lush, green valleys. Mountain biking in Cappadocia is the perfect balance between unforgetable scenery, challenging trails and luxury boutique hotel accommodation. It is a place guaranteed to create great memories and also one of Turkey's best balances of hospitality and traditional ways.
This tour offers a good taste of remote wilderness biking without losing touch with its technical trail-focused roots. This tour is a no-compromise selection of Turkey's very best singletrack routes led by expert local riders. It demands fitness and some mountain biking experience. Off-road biking is in its infancy here, so you'll be at once a pioneer of this new terrain and likewise have the trails to yourself. This tour is purely designed around the best biking trails the region has to offer. No compromises!
• Riding through volcanic rock formations
• Picking lines through slick rock single tracks
• Exploring cave dwellings and ancient churches
• Going underground at the fantastic subterranean city of Derinkuyu
• Developing your technical riding ability amongst awesome scenery
• Tackling the rocky trails in Turkey's most famous and undeniably awesome canyon
• Experiencing local life in villages
Day 1: Arrival
We recommend a flight that arrives in Kayseri early afternoon. Our drive to Soganli takes about an hour, and we can stop for refreshments on the way if you are hungry or thirsty! This evening, we assemble bikes and then have an informal briefing over a delicious home-cooked meal. We stay in a fantastic and truly authentic local pension with awesome cave rooms, home made village style food and fantastic hospitality. The canyon setting and open terrace are the stuff of dreams. Overnight in Soganli
Day 2: Soganli – Guzelyurt (24 mi/39 km, 2346 ft/715 m ascent, 2165 ft/660 m descent)
We begin by exploring Soganli valley- discovering rock cut churches, cave houses and incredible rocky scenery on a network of technical singletrack trails. In at the deep end, we'll have chance to work on some essential trail skills here before taking a steep singletrack route (mostly rideable) out of the canyon.
Continuing on rough tractor tracks and sometimes directly cross country, we get close (not too close) to the canyon edge for some unbelievable views, before picking up a fast, flowing dirt road which brings us back into the valley via some ancient and technical rock steps to Baskoy. From here, easy and shady tractor tracks, with some stream crossings provide the entertainment. We have a picnic lunch at the head of the canyon in the remote village of Derbentbasi (18km) where travellers are a rarity and the local hospitality is enchanting.
After lunch, we head off across open countryside on a network of dirt and rocky tractor tracks across a wide open landscape that conjures up images of camel trains and the historical Silk Road that passes so close to here. This section is a chance to ride together and get to know each other- be social, and have fun! After nearly 40km we arrive in Derinkuyu, and have the option to explore the fascinating multi story underground city there- one of the tour highlights! We then transfer 50km to the beautiful old town of Guzelyurt and overnight in a splendid and luxurious Ottoman "Konak" hotel. Overnight in Guzelyurt
Day 3: Guzelyurt – Selime (25 mil/41 km, 3083 ft/940 m ascent, 3969 ft/1210 m descent)
After a short 20 minute transfer, we begin our ride at a fantastic volcanic crater lake, climbing up and over the rim on a rough, sometimes vertiginous tractor track, picking a route through the rock slides with superb views below. We descend on a fast flowing singletrack through the deserted houses of Nar village..
After a challenging climb on cow tracks and then tractor tracks, we cross a high mountain pasture to arrive at Sivrihisar village. From here we descend on fast descent into Guzelyurt's Monastery Valley where we enjoy a picnic lunch. After leaving the pretty historic town of Guzelyurt, it's more downhill via Yuksek Kilise (High Church) to Belisirma, half way point in Turkey's "Grand Canyon" of Ihlara. We ride the sometimes tricky singletrack in the canyon, eventually arriving at Selime village where we have dinner and drinks on the riverside.
Overnight in Selime Village
Day 4: Selime – Goreme ( 8 mi/13 km, 886 ft/270 m ascent, 1574 ft/480 m descent)
AThis morning we get some rest and recuperate a little from the last two days! We begin with a visit to the incredible rock-cut Selime Monastery and churches and spend some time exploring the amazing surrounding landscape- famous from the Sand People scene in the first Star Wars film… We then transfer via a viewpoint on the Ihlara Canyon to Uchisar- an awesome cave village perched high above the Goreme valley- where we go to a winery to taste some of the best local wines. Lunch at a unique and totally awesome restaurant is a highlight!
This afternoon is where the best singletracks kick in… and the next 3 days are pretty much solid gold trail riding! From Uchisar we launch into an awesome 5km long single track descent through the top half of Pigeon Valley- on a fast, smooth footpath that snakes between well ordered vegetable gardens. Leaving the valley at the mid-point, we climb out on slick rocks and then drop into White Valley. Very steep and technical in places, the scenery is breathtaking, and our trail passes through Cappadocia's best "fairy chimney" rock towers.
Overnight in Goreme
Day 5: Goreme Loop (25 mi/41 km, 3412 ft/1040 m ascent, 4101 ft/1250 m descent)
We begin with a short transfer up the hill to Uchisar and after a brief warm up enjoy a technical climb over Karli Tepe- the highest point in the area with incredible views. We head to Kavak village where it's nice to spend some time taking in the pace of life and local smiles in this farming town. Before long we reach an amazing freeride descent into the Gomeda Valley. This is like a natural BMX track with so many different lines to be ridden and natural carves and bowls like a man-made pump track!
After a challenging final descent, we ride along the valley on jungle-like, overgrown singletracks (long sleeves recommended) with numerous technical stream crossings and splash-downs to contend with! Heading on into the Uzengi Valley we check out the finest multi-storey rock-cut pigeon lofts that Capadocia has to offer… plus a "natural wonder" spring where we drink sparkling water just like San Pelligrino! From here we climb on a picturesque dirt road to Ortahisar village, where we eat a wonderful 4-course meal in one of the region's best small restaurants.
Following our epic lunch, we ease into the afternoon with a gentle valley climb up through the green, fertile Balkon Valley to Ibrahimpasa; a rough track brings us back over the highest point and down to the top of Zemi Valley- where a technical and super steep slick rock slab entrance will test your skills. Now in lush, green and overgrown forested terraces, our downhill trail is great fun- passing through natural rock tunnels, handlebar-width mini canyons and hairpin drops and steps. From the valley's mid-point one final technical climb brings us up and over into a parallel universe- Gorkundere- famous for it's key role in the European XC MTB Cup that was held here in 2007. We fly down the rutted rocks, emerging with glowing smiles all round right in the centre of Goreme.
Overnight in Goreme
Day 6: Goreme – Cavusin (12 mi/20k m, 2133 ft/ 650 m ascent & descent)
Setting off from the hotel, we dovetail nicely onto the last portion of yesterday's ride, hitting the Euro XC Cup circuit from a different direction and taking on the rutted rock downhill for a second time. We enjoy some steep, smooth singletracks and great views as we meander through Swords Valley- Kiliclar. We climb a scenic a ridge above Meskendir Valley, passing Kaya Camping, and then dropping into that valley on one of three technical trails. Meskendir Valley is one of the best- with a flowing trail that descends through tunnels, canyons, and steeply terraced gardens. Eventually we put up our saddles ready for the almost vertical techy climbs of Rose Valley- stopping to draw breath and admire the phenomenal and relatively unknown 8th Century rock-cut "Church of Columns".
We enjoy a delicious lunch in an off-grid eco-sensitive local restaurant and have time to relax on the sofas as we digest. After lunch an easy dirt track climb brings us to the panoramic viewpoint for perhaps the hardest but most incredible of all the trails… The Balkon. Everyone is able to tackle the 7km downhill trail at their own speed, and there is no shame in walking some of the steeper sections. Riding through boulder strewn and deeply eroded gullies is reminiscent of Zion, Utah. We end the day in time for those who desire to go out on an extra loop.
Overnight in Cavusin
Day 7: Cavusin Loop (17 mi/28 km, 2362 ft/720 m ascent & descent)
From Cavusin we climb on technical singletracks to an old water tower above the fairy chimneys at Pasabagi, from which a steep and hard hike-a-bike trail gets us right to the top of Boz Dagi (Table Top Mountain). From here we take a panoramic trail right around the edge of the table top plateau, with views down to the valleys below. We drop down on steep, sandy switchbacks which open up into super fast dirt road, meeting the Urgup – Avanos road at the bottom. Passing "Camel Rock" we drop into Devrent Valley and climb up to another viewpoint on a really nice singletrack spur, continuing on to Urgup for lunch.
After lunch, a gentle but extremely beautiful, sandy dirt track regains our lost height. Our last downhill trail drops into a steep natural half-pipe chute via a flight of steps. Certainly, riding the bowl here is the highlight of the day! Into Rose Valley once again, and this time along a very different trail to the fantastic Hacli church- where you'll see some of the most amazing Byzantine frescoes and experiment with the unique and very bizarre acoustics. Never wishing to call a last run, we arrive back at Cavusin with time to relax and pack up our bikes. Tonight we go out for a perfect top class meal and no doubt enjoy a few drinks over tales of the week's highs, lows, trials and trails… Overnight in Cavusin
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, you'll be transfered to Kayseri Airport for your homeward flight.
• 7 nights boutique hotel accommodation
• Transfers to and from Kayseri airport
• Professional MTB guide
• Full use of support vehicle
• All meals and snacks, with tea and coffee at mealtimes
• GST (Government Sales Tax)
• Tips & Gratitude
Bikes available for rent on this tour (must be reserved in advance at the time of booking):
• Mountain bikes: Specialized Rockhopper unisex (size 15, 17, 19) or Skye women's (size 16)
Bikes come equipped with the following at no extra cost:
• Water bottle and cage
• Repair kit with spare tube
The bikes can be equipped with flat or spd pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
Helmet rental is available as part of the bike rental package. However, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.